Gene-Altered Squid Could Be The Next Lab Rats

Updated: 2020-08-12 09:16:04
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On the left is an unmodified hatchling of a longfin inshore squid (Doryteuthis pealeii). The one on the right was injected with CRISPR-Cas9 targeting a pigmentation gene before the first cell division. It has very few pigmented cells and lighter eyes.

On the left is an unmodified hatchling of a longfin inshore squid (Doryteuthis pealeii). The one on the right was injected with CRISPR-Cas9 targeting a pigmentation gene before the first cell division. It has very few pigmented cells and lighter eyes.

Until recently, cephalopod research has been hindered by the fact that there's been no way to manipulate squid or octopus genes. But all that has changed with the first genetically altered squid. NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce explains how this breakthrough was made at the Marine Biological Laboratory and why it's a game changer for scientists who study these critters.

Read Nell's story here, and check out more of her reporting on cephalopods here and here.

Email the show at [email protected]

This episode was produced and fact-checked by Yowei Shaw and edited by Viet Le.

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